Climate change is real – It’s time we all adopted a tree hugger

Climate change activists

Climate change activists

I hate to come over all tree hugger on you.

But here’s the thing. Maybe it’s time for all those well-grounded, hard-nosed, practically-minded, business-focused types among us started to make a noise.

Saving the planet is no longer the preserve of skygazing hippies, sandal-wearing dreamers, unwashed nature communers or political fringe eco-agitators.

The lastet report from the WWF (no, it’s got nothing to do with muscular men in hairspray and lycra) should stop even the most ardent planet raper in their tracks:

Around half of our planet’s glorious, multi-coloured, mindbogglingly rich riot of wildlife has been wiped out. In just 40 years.

An endangered tiger at Edinburgh Zoo

An endangered tiger at Edinburgh Zoo

Not just the pandas, polar bears, tigers, elephants and other lovable, relateable warm-blooded mammals that shrink down into huggable cuddly toys. But fish, fowl, insects, reptiles and plantlife. Whether it makes you recoil in horror or come over all warm and fuzzy, every one of those species plays a small and irreplacable role in the order of things.

That order is now well and truly knackered. The debate isn’t really should the madness stop. It’s *could* it stop? Even if we started – right this minute – to make the massive, global changes required, would we be able to fix the problems with our planet?

Frankly, I have no idea. Maybe you’re already doing your bit – running your shower for a shorter time, switching off lights in empty rooms and recycling your rubbish. But I can’t help but think that we all need to to more.

What though? Stop eating meat? Starting wearing plastic shoes? Wash less? Abandon our fridges? Adopt an orangutan?

Climate change protestors gather in Edinburgh, Scotland

Climate change protestors gather in Edinburgh, Scotland

Or should we take to the street, wave placards, sign petitions and sing songs – like those who marched in 2000 locations across the globe earlier this month?

Here’s one thing each and every one of us can do starting right now – we can call out and shout down the climate change deniers.

There was a time when we rolled our eyes and dismissed the wacky environmental views of those claiming the end was nigh. Turns out they were probably right, with the massive  and growing weight of scientific evidence is now on their side.

And yet we still cock our heads and listen to those who happily deny that our planet is on the verge of disaster – the leaders of big industry, politicians, the increasinly small and isolated cadre of scientists and other vested interest naysayers.

Naysayers like the two Apollo astronauts, part of the teams which took the famous “blue marble” photos of Earth. They include Apollo 16 veteran Charlie Duke who found god and now declares climate science as “bogus” and insists his version of the Almighty will make sure everything is ok.

Hmmm. Forgive me if I don’t place quite the same amount of trust in good ol’ boy Charlie’s Christian fundamentalist version of god to come riding to the rescue.

We all need to call out this kind of BS.

Dunno if you caught the news last week that tech giant Google started a ball rollilng by severing ties with a Conservative lobbying group which spends millions of dollars denying climate change is a problem for the planet.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that when it come to climate change, these deniers are “Just literally lying” when they tell us everything will be ok.

Also in the past week Hollywood got in on the act when Leonardo DiCaprio made an impassioned speech at the launch of the United Nations Climate Change Summit reminding us all that “we only get one planet”.

Like most everyone else, I feel helpless in the face of industrial scale environmental destruction and the implacable political will to let it happen.

I’ve got no idea how we convince billions of people (me included) to stop eating such vast amounts of meat or to give up mobile phones and other first world rampant consumerism.

But I know that for anything sensible to happen, we need to start knocking down the climate change deniers one at a time. Here’s a start:

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